As you may be aware, VoIP telephone systems are held in the cloud and IP telephony generally depends on the internet. For businesses wanting to ensure they have a reliable telephone system, that raises an important question: does VoIP work if the internet is down?
So, does VoIP work if the internet is down? No, VoIP does not work if the internet is down. However, you and your provider can put procedures in place to ensure you don’t lose your telephone system if your internet drops.
The fact that VoIP doesn’t work without the internet might concern you. While VoIP phone systems are ultra-reliable (as I detailed here) if your internet connection is poor it will let you down.
Read on to find out how you can create the perfect environment for VoIP and how you can ensure you still receive calls even if your internet does drop!
Ways To Keep Your VoIP System Working When Your Internet Drops
If you know that your internet connection isn’t the most reliable, loss of phone service is a big concern. However, here are several ways that you can keep your system working even if your main internet connection fails.
Built-In Call Continuity
When assessing which VoIP system would best meet your requirements, ask the provider if the system has any built-in call continuity features. If your internet drops, call continuity features protect your business.
Built-in call continuity can take many shapes. Some providers offer an automatic failover function, where all calls are instantly routed to another location if the intended target phones lose connectivity. With some providers, it’s as simple as phoning them up and requesting they set up a call divert for you until your internet connection returns.
For hosted VoIP customers with handsets, customers can simply take their handsets to a location with an internet connection, plug them in and then work as usual. If you have more than one office nearby, your staff can simply move to the other office and continue working as usual. Alternatively, your employees can take their handsets home and plug them into their home connections to continue working productively.
Most VoIP telephone systems these days have the built-in continuity and redundancy features that I’ve mentioned above. However, remember to check that your provider has these features available before you choose to go with them.
Install A Backup Internet Connection
Installing a backup internet connection is common practice for businesses that simply cannot afford to go without their internet. With a backup internet connection, you can ensure that you don’t lose your VoIP phone service if your main internet connection drops.
If your business uses a VoIP telephone system, it’s more important than ever to have something in place in case your internet drops.
If you have a backup connection, your VoIP phone system and other technologies will automatically switch connection if your primary connection fails. This ensures VoIP resiliency, no matter what happens to your primary connection. Since the connections are from separate providers, you protect yourself if the loss of connection is an ISP issue.
In some setups, VoIP phone systems are running on a separate connection at all times, regardless of main connection performance. “We install a second connection whenever we set up VoIP for a business,” says Michael Fontana, director of Optionbox, a provider of business telecommunication solutions. “We install a second connection to ensure dedicated bandwidth for the customer’s VoIP telephone system. This means higher call quality, greater stability, and maximum uptime.”
Have A Backup Power Supply Installed
A power outage can cause major issues for your business. Not only will it destroy productivity and efficiency in the office, but an outage can also take down your VoIP telephone system if all your network equipment suddenly stops working.
With a UPS (Uninterruptible Power Supply) you can keep your phone system and network online throughout a power outage.
Many disasters can lead to power failure, but an uninterruptible power supply will allow your team to continue working regardless. A UPS will ensure that your internet connection and phone system still works, so you won’t miss important calls as a result.
A power outage is chaotic and problematic anyway, but it is more so if your phones suddenly become unavailable and you know you’re missing calls from your customers. While the call continuity features I previously mentioned help here, it’s much less stressful simply to keep your system running without interruption with a UPS.
The effectiveness of a UPS will differ based on how long the power outage lasts. If your business goes without power for days, it might be better to quickly enact your remote working strategy and move your staff to different locations. A UPS will only power your network for a matter of hours at best, so it won’t keep your internet and phone system working for days on end.
So, while VoIP will not work without the internet, there are several ways that you can ensure your VoIP system is resilient against internet-related issues.
A good VoIP provider will ensure your network environment is capable of reliably supporting your VoIP telephone system. However, not all VoIP providers are made equal, so it’s important to ask questions about call continuity and disaster recovery features before you sign up for a new system.